Sunday, December 31, 2006

Happy Blogiversary's Eve!

Well, I did it. I made a resolution and kept it. And this blog is the fruit of that resolution.

Hmm. What to resolve for 2007?

I'll get back to you on that one.

In the meantime, Happy Blogiversary's Eve, or Happy New Year's Eve, for those of you who choose to celebrate something a little bit more inclusive.

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Felting Overload

I haven't talked much about my new apartment. Short version: it's around the corner from the old one, we've been moving for a month and it's still ongoing, it's big. it's got huge windows. And. it's got a washer and dryer. So, of course, I've been felting.
I have to make a number of "gift items" for some amazing people who will be honored at the Squid's annual fundraiser in a couple of weeks. I have been hemming and hawing and everything I could think of seemed a bit too personal for a formal gift for legendary people. I finally settled on felted bowls.

I'm still not sure it's *the* perfect thing, but I like them, and I think they're fine for the occasion.

I used Noro Kureyon in a color that I can't recall, and looking for the ball band just got me distracted for over an hour. So let's just say when I find it, I'll let you know.

I love the colorway. This is my first experience with Kureyon, and for felting, I'm hooked. the colors, especially how they dance and shift from one to the other, are remarkable. It felts beautifully (though I think my bowls could use a shave) and quickly - two cycles on my handy dandy washer.

I've made the first two in different shapes, and I'm trying to decide which I prefer. I think I'll make the last 2 different as well and have several to choose from. I have actually been writing down what I'm doing, so in theory, they're all things I could reproduce.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Preparing for a New Year

The Seamless Hybrid is complete. Check out that "shirt yoke" option in the saddle. My Goodness how I adore that Elizabeth Zimmerman. There were a few occasions when I thought "I must be reading this wrong" and even, I admit "this must be written incorrectly" but I wasn't. And it wasn't. It's sheer perfection.
I used Rowan's Yorkshire Tweed Aran in the "deep plum" color. It's a strudy feeling yarn as opposed to a cloud-soft deal, but it's not the slightest bit itchy; my husband is wearing it quite happily over a short-sleeved t-shirt.

I went for a 1" hemmed collar (I continued the double decreases in the front more for look than fit) and I'm very, very pleased with the outcome. I did not do fancy contrasting facing, and I thought I might regret that decision but I don't, at all.
This design is perfect for my husband - he has fairly scrawny shoulders and this hybrid saddle really seems to make them appear much broader. He has a classic saddle sweater and a few raglans. The raglans seem to accentuate the narrow shoulders and make his chest look pudgy (it's not) and the regular saddles are better but still cut a little funny across the chest. This sweater fits him perfectly and, in my opinion, really works with his body type. I'll be making him many more of these, to be sure. And being EZ, of course I can play around with stitch patterns and color to make them all different while using the same basic design.

I based the entire sweater on his chest measurement, as EZ suggests, and only tried on the cuffs of one sleeve (I had gauge issues as I got pregnant between making the body and making the sleeves and I could NOT match gauge. I ended up just putting it aside for several months while I waited for my fingers to return to closer to normal. Aside from that, the only real "issue" I had was in creating the saddle - there is a part of the instructions where EZ abandons her percentages and merely says "for 44 rows". Since my gauge was different from hers, I had been completely ignoring her numbers. So it took me a while, and a little calculation, to go back through her sample numbers and discover that she meant "50% of remaining stitches".

Other than that, I loved the experience, I love the final product, and my husband does, too. It was originally supposed to be a gift for our 10th anniversary together (September 15) then our 6th anniversary of marriage (November 11) then Hanukkah, then Solstice, and I finally finished it at 11pm on December 25. So at least it made it as a gift for some holiday, instead of just being an unceremonious "here, I finally finished."
I'm nearly finished with Martha's socks, too. I hope to see her in mid-January and they'll surely be finished by then. I have a ton of yarn left over, the socks are baggy, and a perfectly respectably high-crew length. I think I know why it's called Trekking XL now.

And finally, in "it's a small world" news, guess who I bumped into at Ikea? Annie Modesitt and family! I was glad to have been able to thank her in person for her ultra-generous donation of a signed book and a sample bracelet she donated to the auctions we held for the Professor. She was, as always, warm and smiling and I even got a big hug, right there in the middle of storage solutions. Were you looking for yarn storage, Annie? I was.

Labels: ,

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Ripping off the Band-Aid

it may seem odd but I kind of don't know how to post here anymore. So I'm just ripping off the old band-aid and diving in.

My husband requested mittens. He said he wanted them to be just like the ones I made for The Squid last winter (she still wears and loves them). It's just a basic old mitten, no pattern, but that's what he said he wanted. And he picked out the yarn - delicious-yet-sturdy merino from Little Turtle Knits in the "Midnight Ride" colorway from last winter's holiday collection.

He also insisted on modeling them in various positions for the photo montage above. He likes them a lot; he grins like a child when he puts them on. The one complaint is that it's been so unseasonably warm that he hasn't really gotten a lot of wear out of them. And he wants a matching scarf, but I've got no matching yarn. Oh well.

I've also re-connected with his Elizabeth Zimmerman Seamless Hybrid - one sleeve nearly complete. If I'm lucky I'll finish this sometime before the New Year. Fortunately we don't do any real standard holiday so i don't have a specific date by which I need to have completed the sweater. But New Year's Day is my goal.

I also have a pair of socks on the needles. These are for Martha, the professor's mom. I started them when I was flying down there, and somehow thought I'd actually finish them there. I even brought yarn to cast on for a different project for the return trip. Ha. that was 16 days ago and I'm still knitting them, a little bit every day.

I have so say I have issues with these socks - or it could be my weird, loose-jointed pregnant hands. They are really baggy and loose. I'm using Trekking XXL, and though size 2s are recommended, I'm using 0s. I tend to prefer densely knit socks so I often size down. But these feel very airy and loose to me, even on 0s. And though I've cast on my standard 60 stitches on size 0s, these are big and floppy as well as being airy and loose. Fortunately Martha loves me and will forgive my weird saggy baggy socks. Plus she lives in the tropics and probably won't ever even wear wool socks, so it's just a sign of her kindness that she's feigning excitement about them at all.

And here's the newest "just can't say no" project I've gotten myself into. I went to pick up The Squid at preschool the other day, and found her and her teacher (whom I adore) sitting in the doll-play corner, lamenting about the shabby state of the dolls and their lack of clothing.

So the teacher says "these dolls need new clothes, don't they, hint hint." And somehow it was suggested that since The Squid, among all of her classmates, is most taken by the dolls, that she bring them home, one by one, to bathe them, comfort them, and bring them back with new outfits.

So It has begun. This was the first victim, and I got away with a tank top with crocheted straps and shorts. Let's see how things progress, shall we?

Oh, and I finished the octopus pattern. It's available in the sidebar.

Labels: , ,

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

all the king's horses and all the king's men

just couldn't put natty together again, and he went softly from us on friday afternoon.

Martha called me friday morning and asked me to come, and so I did. She called me at the airport to let me know he had died, and i have to say that was the longest, saddest plane ride i've ever taken. I picked Martha up from the hospital friday night to take her home, and her strength and certainty that this is how things are supposed to be made me see a parent's true love for her child - rather than dwelling on her own sadness, Martha was comforted by her son's release from his suffering. It was a humbling experience for me.

We got through the next few days, the travel, the funeral, the weeping, and I've returned home, inexorably changed.

Thank you for your kind thoughts. Please keep sending your love to Martha, home now, without her boy.

Professor - you are now and will forever be, deeply loved.